80 Years Ago

747, Pan Am

I’m not quite sure how such an anniversary slipped by so quietly, but a friend of mine just sent me an article that reminded me that this month celebrates 80 years since Pan Am’s inaugural flight.

It was October 18, 1927 that Pan Am’s first flight departed Key West for the short hop to Havana. Of course, Pan Am died in 1991 after a long illness. This shot summarizes my memories of Pan Am.

07_10_27 panam

That’s ship N740PA, Clipper Ocean Pearl, at LAX in May 1988. (Copyright © AirNikon) I can remember two trips on Pan Am. One on 747s the whole way from LAX to JFK to Zurich and then back. The second trip was even more exciting as I flew again on a 747 from LAX to JFK and then JFK to Berlin on an A310. The return London to LAX on a 747 was my first time on the upper deck.

It’s sad that such a pioneering airline wasn’t able to survive deregulation. All we can do now is remember and recognize all the incredible contributions the airline made over the years.

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2 comments on “80 Years Ago

  1. I flew from Heathrow to JFK a few months after the first PanAm 747 entered service. It was a VERY memorable experience having been used to trundling around in 707s. The first time I ever had lunch on the top deck was with the tennis player Frew Macmillan and a lady whose son worked for PanAm. She was a cockney and at one point took an old china cup out of her travelling bag and put it on the table. We both looked at it and she said. “Oh, don’t mind that it’s the cup I put my false teeth in at night.”

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